Many organizations choose mobile app development outsourcing rather than using an in-house team. As discussed in the post on hiring an app development firm vs. using an internal development team, the reasons are various, but they decide to use a third-party. But even after the decision to hire an external team, there are still many available options when outsourcing your mobile app.


This is a guide for companies to outsource mobile app development. It will go over different routes available, the specific considerations with each avenue, and the associated pros and cons. At the end of this article, more informed decision will be possibly made for you on which mobile app outsourcing option best suits your needs.


The Options For Mobile App Development Outsourcing

Companies that choose to outsource mobile app development will find many available options for them during the vendor selection process. Below are the most common:


Mobile App Development Firms

These firms focus specifically on mobile app development rather than supplying it as a support service. They typically:



Even within this category, you will find a broad range in quality. Elements such as specific technical expertise, experience, proven ability to deliver, project complexity, team size and more will be rariable dramatically.


Basing on your business’s need and the requirements of your project, you may want to research faces like the vendor’s past clients and projects; their experience with particular technologies or similar features  to what you need to develop; team size and location; and the complexity of projects that they have delivered.

Big App Development Firms

They are typically branches of large multinationals – think IBM or Accenture. Majorly technology and software companies supply mobile app development as a secondary service to other core business functions. Their strengths are:



These firms, while highly capable, have disadvantages which may be:



Another factor that the big development firms also typically charge most is what companies will want to consider when outsourcing to a third party.


Independent Developers


Mobile is highly in demand, and many talented developers out there. Independent developers normally have strong technical skills, and many of them even both work at mobile app development companies and freelance as a side job. They are typically remarkably cheaper than alternative options, with the exception of offshore firms.


Otherwise, if you outsource app development to an independent developer, you will typically find gaps that can impact on the overall quality of your product, including:



For small enterprises or cash-strapped entrepreneurs, independent developers may happen to be the strongest mobile app outsourcing option – particularly if the majority of their budgets on marketing their product will be to be focused on.


Offshore Firms

Outsourcing mobile app development to an offshore firm is generally made because of budgetary constraints. These firms are remarkably cheaper; however, there are many caveats along with the cost savings. Offshore firms tend to fall short in a number of remarkable areas, including:



Off-the-shelf Solutions

Choosing an off-the-shelf solution is quite a bit different than any of the options mentioned so far, and typically isn’t grouped in with mobile app outsourcing per se. These aren’t custom solutions, but rather out-of-the-box platforms that can sometimes be white-labeled. E-commerce is an outstanding example of a field where off-the-shelf solutions is popular. And they do come with several advantages, such as:



Otherwise, choice of an off-the-shelf solution for your mobile app outsourcing needs also brings a number of downsides, which include:



Which Option is Essential for my Business?

Outsourcing app development needs to come with your organizational goals and the requirements of your project. Decision of what these are will help you estimate some of the options that don’t fit your needs, early in the process. Other things will be considered include the amount of risk your organization is willing to take and your mobile app development budge, how important it is to customize your solution given the expectations of your customers and your competition in the market; how perfect your product needs to be; if you need a more consultative engagement on top of development, and more. When the best route is chosen, you can start researching and shortlist vendors that tick the right boxes.